According To Addie

Angry adoptee

Changes

I think that each and everyone one of us has the capacity for change.  Heck change is what I’m all about, and what this blog is all about.  I an an Adult Adoptee Advocating For Change, after all.

It’s not just me, I feel change in the air.  We are all growing, all changing, maybe we’ll all be better for it.   

Change takes inspiration and no one has inspired me more than Marley today.  Just to think a year ago her position on adoption agencies went like this…

Records and identity access is about our rights and has no connection with the marketing schemes of adoption agencies. BN has a long-standing, hard-line policy of accepting no support from the adoption industry. Bastard Nation specifically, and the adoptee rights movement in general, cannot and should not be co-opted or used by the adoption industry to promote its own agenda. We disavow all industry involvement in our work. Any entanglement with the adoption industry endangers the integrity and credibility of the adoptee rights movement.

 

And today when she says, in reference to her groups partnership with Holt International, commenting on my last post….

 

 We are partners with many groups with CalOpen. 

 

This includes 3, count them 3, adoption agencies, by the way.

 

I’ve always said that in order to get records opened up we must work with all kinds of people and organizations related to adoption, and here’s Marley living by that example.  

And I can only think that her presence will go on to inspire more good things.  More openness at Holt, an easing in the attitude that they display to natural mothers, a brand new day at Holt International.  I’m sure Marley, above all others, is working to make Holt the kind of adoption agency we’d all like to see.  Gone will be the days of half truths and difficulty reuniting.  

Change is good and I’m proud of you Marley.

Did Jesus Tell You To Lie?

Seems that somebody is having a bit trouble with the truth.  I had engaged in a very civil discourse on open adoption records with this liar and she twisted my words.  I don’t like that.  It seems that she wants to make people believe that I support “mutual consent” in matters of birth certificate access.

Crazy lying bitch.  I do not in any way support mutual consent laws.  I believe that adoptees should have free access to their birth certificates.

Here’s the post followed by comments..

he Legal History of Adoption in the U.S.

“Kippa Herring” has posted several comments regarding the research of Professor Elizabeth Samuels, who published her overview of the legal history of adoption in the U.S. in the Rutgers Law Review ( Winter 2001), entitled  “The Idea of Adoption.” Rather than print selected quotes from Samuel’s work, I’ve decided to refer you to the article so you can read it in its entirety.

Although Professor Samuels (like Kippa) is in favor of mandated open records (as opposed to the “mutual consent” approach advocated by the National Council for Adoption and myself), Samuels’ paper is helpful in providing a historical context for understanding the complexities of the issue, and how balancing the respective (often conflicting) needs and responsibilities of all three sides of the adoption triad have challenged state legislatures and social agencies alike for more than sixty years.

For those of you who are new to this, mandated open records ”unseal” original birth certificates of adult adopted children (and other persons of interest), regardless of whether the biological parents agree to having identifying information released to the (adult) child.

At this time, only a handful of states allow adult adoptees unrestricted access to their original records, although this is something that a variety of nationally organized advocacy groups (such as “Bastard Nation” and “Unsealed Initiative” are fighting to change).

Nevertheless, adoptive parents will want to educate themselves about the issue so you can be prepared when your child broaches the subject of his birth parents. Not all adopted children decide to look for their birth parents, but most have feelings about their birth families that we — their parents – need to help them work through, even if search and reunion is not a possibility.

Information is power, the saying goes. By educating ourselves about the issues surrounding adoption, we empower ourselves to give our children the support they need to reconcile and integrate the two sides of their heritage.

No two families will approach this the same way. It may be that your child has no interest in finding his birth family. If he does, try to relax and not take it as a sign that he is rejecting you.From what I’ve read, there seems to be little connection between an adopted child’s desire to know his birth family and the strength of the bond he has with his adoptive parents. Just this afternoon I spoke with a radio producer whose older sister found her birth family, and yet he had no desire to do so.

In any event, this article is well worth reading, no matter where in the adoptive triad you stand.

4 Responses to “The Legal History of Adoption in the U.S.”

  1. Thank you for posting this, Heidi.

    “Information is power, the saying goes.”
    Which is one reason, among others, why adopted people deserve to have the right to information about their origins restored to them – and I use the word “restored” deliberately, because that right was eroded and eventually lost during the middle of the 20th century.

    I would also like to include the opinion of Margaret Somerville, Canadian ethicist and academic. She is the Samuel Gale Professor of Law, Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and the Founding Director of the Faculty of Law’s Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at McGill University. She is a remarkable woman and someone to be taken seriously even where one disagrees with her.

    The excerpt (below) is from a 2007 panel discussion about ethical problems relating to assisted reproductive technology, but she also relates to children’s human rights in general:

    “Recently I’ve been working on children’s human rights with respect to their biological origins and biological families.
    In that work I’ve argued that we must recognize that children have human rights with respect to knowing the identity of their biological parents and, if at all possible, their immediate and wider biological families; having a mother and a father, preferably their own biological parents; and to come from natural biological origins.”

    She also says that “It is one matter for children not to know their genetic identity as a result of unintended circumstances.
    It is quite another matter to deliberately destroy children’s links to their biological parents, and especially for society to be
    complicit in this destruction.”

    You can read more here:
    http://www.canadianconstitutionfoundation.ca/files/pdf/The%20Intersection%20of%20Freedom%20-%20Margaret%20Somerville.pdf

    She also believes that emphasis should be placed on the rights of the child, so that if an adopted person seeks disclosure of their adoption records, that information should be disclosed *whether the parent who placed the child consents or not*, because everyone has the human right to know their origins.
    The reverse, on the other hand, wouldn’t necessarily hold true. In her opinion, a parent would only be entitled to information about a child who’d been placed for adoption if they consented.

  2. “For those of you who are new to this, mandated open records ”unseal” original birth certificates of adult adopted children..”

    Also for those who are new to this it might be worth noting that adoptees do not remain children all of their lives. They do become adults. For perspective should those not adopted be referred to as adult biological children, adult natural children, adult unadopted children? Sounds rather silly, doesn’t it?

  3. I would think that even those who are new to adoption would realize that children (by definition) grow up.

    It was a simple typo. Thanks for pointing it out.

  4. Kippa:

    “…having a mother and a father, preferably their own biological parents; and to come from natural biological origins.”

    With regard to reproductive technology, I’d have to say that Professor (?) Sommerville is arguing against invitro and other forms of artificial reproduction, which is consistent with traditional Catholic teaching. And I fully agree that, if mandated open records becomes the norm, donor records must also be released as well. That would be simple justice — the same standard for both mother and father.

    As for the final paragraph, it’s important to distinguish between “rights” and “desires.” As “Addie” pointed out, these individuals are no longer children, but adults. “Mutual consent” would seem to be the logical middle ground.

    Nice try fuckwit.

    here’s the second comment she refused to put up…

    Comment:
    Please do not presume that I would think that mutual consent would be a logical middle ground.  I do not.  My biological history belongs to me, just as yours belongs to you.  I have as much right to know what that heritage is as anyone else.

    There is no middle ground.  Something that is so uniquely mine cannot be denied me, it is my right to know this.


    And the response..

    Frankly, it’s not my concern whether you think this is logical middle ground — you are entitled to your opinion, and the express it … on YOUR blog.

    As I’ve said to Kippa, I’m not interested in prolonging the discussing about open records on my blog at this time. There are strong points of view, and frankly because each of us has formed an opinion from which we are unlikely to budge, further discussion is pointless. I’ve deleted your comment, in keeping with my comments policy.

    Feel free to link and respond as you see fit … but at EMN, I get to moderate and direct the conversation as I see fit. I’m sorry if you disagree with my viewpoint.

    Heidi Saxton

    Author, “Raising Up Mommy” and “Behold Your Mother” (http://www.christianword.com)

    Founder, “Extraordinary Moms Network”
    (
    http://extraordinarymomsnetwork.wordpress.com)

    Proud of herself, isn’t she?
    Well that bitch can lick me.
    She’s a liar who will do anything to support her little bitty position.  Her faith and/or intelligence is obviously so weak that she will not take on a civil debate.  She just another useless crying bitch who can’t back up what she lays down.
    Now go do your penance for being a liar, little Heidi.  Jesus will forgive you.

Oh, and if you’ll notice she said that she would delete my comment from her blog.  She hasn’t done that either.  Just another lie.

OK, she finally took that down.  But she’s still a liar.

Here’s my latest communication with Heidi The High Strung Convert..

Hah! Thanks for such a constructive and thoughtful response.

I’ve not read your blog, and based on what I’ve read about your perspective
so far, I seriously doubt that will change anytime soon. But I’m sure there
are plenty of those who share your viewpoint who will be happy to let you
“preach to the choir.” I just happen not to be one of them.

H.

And my response..

No sweetie, it’s you that has the choir.  I have minions, they look
like the monkeys that fly out your ass every time you lie.  Well I
have the minions, and I have readers.  You see if I bring up a topic
I’m willing to defend my position, it’s called integrity. I doubt you
would know anything about it.


Adoption Rocks!

I don’t get this at all. .

Some dork wearing an Adoption Rocks! t-shirt.

 

Adoption Rocks?  What are adoption rocks?  Are people adopting rocks now?  Are they like Pet Rocks?

I remember Pet Rocks.  Now that was a great piece of marketing.  Imagine convincing everyone that they should pay $3.95 for a rock.  Everybody just had to have one, because everybody else had one.  You wouldn’t want to feel left out.  If they would have come up with Pet Rocks today even Madonna would have one, hell she’d be out on the Pet Rock World Tour right now.

Wait a minute, this couldn’t be about adoption could it?  No way.

There’s no way someone is financing their adoption adoption selling these t-shirts.  Can’t they get a HELOC or something?  What are their plans for the future?  Are they going to start selling “Community College Rocks!” t-shirts when tuition time rolls around in a few years?  That’s just wrong.

If they are serious about this they do realize that saying anything “Rocks” at this point is passe, or at the very least the height of irony, right?  Because adoption does not rock.  In fact, I suspect that international adoption is very fast becoming passe.  Let’s face it, it came out yesterday that we are in a recession.  Displays of excess like giant SUVs, Birkin Kelly bags, and toting an ethnically diverse adoptee, are out.  Green, useful and frugal are in.  You’ll get over in a much bigger way in your hybrid, toting a kid recycled from our very own foster care system.  You can easily still get them in a variety of colors and sizes.  

Besides isn’t having to sell t-shirts in order to pay for your international adoption a bit like wearing a Rolex Daytona with a Members Only jacket?

Hard Realities

It has been commented that I may not be able to distinguish fantasy from reality.  This may be true, I think we all live in our own worlds, everything we see is interrupted through our own perspective.   This has nothing to do with being able to recognize satire.  In light of recent comments it also has nothing to do with reading comprehension.  If you’ll look to the top of the page, this one’s tagged satire.  That means I know that I’m writing about something that isn’t serious or real.

For example, I ran across this site just this morning..

http://4hillary.wordpress.com/

There is some pure gold right there, Arlen Specter questioning anyone’s sanity is brilliant.

And I won’t even mention the Ricky Martin post, I want you to enjoy it for your self, She Bangs indeed.

Also be sure to check out the comments section, this is where the bloggers are in their element, I don’t know how they come up with this stuff.  The daily show has nothing on these folks.

The writers of this blog have brought together the nuttier side of this election for all to enjoy.  When taken as a whole, one can see just how silly the blogosphere can really be.  Though purely satirical, it can be used as an excellent resource to point out just how desperate some of the unofficial Clinton campaign workers have become.

Check it out, and don’t blame me if you end up spitting your latte all over your computer screen.

Little Orphan Adopters

It seems that us adoptees aren’t the only ones who are orphans out there. So are the adopters.

Yep.

In another desperate attempt to justify raiding the word for cute little babies, this idea has come to light. Possibly the “we were all adopted in the family of Jesus” crap wasn’t working with the less godly potential adoptive parents, so some super genius has come up with this brainwave.

The reasoning goes like this. That when a person leaves their parents home and sets off in life, they are essentially orphaned. That growing up and actually doing what is expected, makes one an orphan. It would seem that the only ones with families still in tact are the losers living in their parents basements. Everybody else is an orphan. This is supposed to show how much anyone can identify with the situation of their adoptee. Oh course a lot of fancy language and hypothetical situations were used to make it sound like something much deeper, but that’s what it distills to.

I would like to know what kind of life these morons have experienced, but it sure as hell must be an easy one to think that leaving home is at all like losing one or both parents, at any age. Getting your first apartment is absolutely nothing like having a parent die. Coming up with first and last months rent and security deposit, as hard as it may have been for these defectives, bears no resemblance to waiting to hear how the test for terminal cancer came out for dear old dad, trust me.

This justification is not only a slap in the face to anyone who has ever lot a parent, it’s just plain lame. Most adoptees are not orphans, we were simply left for others to raise, be it by coercion, need, or abandonment. No life taking event lead to our adoption. Any orphan justification does not hold up on those terms alone.

Still there are those who would wish to avoid the reality that they are raising someone else’s child with any excuse they can muster. By somehow convincing themselves that they are orphans, it makes it aright in their mind to think of their adopted children in these terms. That they would think of themselves as orphans because they are not receiving the daily care of living parents is delusional.

Are these adopters parents gone, completely out of their lives? Do they gaze at their pictures recalling times past and wishing that they could speak to them just one more time? When something very good or very bad happens in their lives to they wish that they could pick up the phone and tell their departed parents about it? Do they have to take comfort in the fact that their parents just might be looking down on them from another place? Do they recall the day they left home, presumably the anniversary of their own orphanhood, every year with great sadness? And most of all, do they wish that their children could know their grandparents?

Real orphans do.

This silly justification belittles everyone involved, not just these people’s parents and themselves, but most of all the adoptee. Though we may not truly be orphans, we have lost something. Something that these desperate people scampering for any justification for their actions could never understand.

I Have A Brand New Plan

Well with every adoptee rights bill introduced in the current Missouri legislative session either withdrawn, on hold, or revised into a total piece of shit, it’s time to move on.

But how do we do that?

I’m glad you asked. This is where the new plan comes in.

What we are doing just ain’t working. We are going to ditch the kicking and crying, the victim attitude, the constant whining, and the Queen For A Fucking Day adoption beat me up so bad I can’t go on bullshit. We will also be jettisoning the back biting, the self-congratulatory boasting, and the goddamn circle jerk that the adoptee rights movement has become.

If you want to talk about your feelings, if you feel the need to cry into your dish towel, take a walk right now. You ain’t going to do that here. There are places for that, heck I administrate a couple of them, that’s the place for it. Go heal yourself and please come around when you are feeling stronger. We do have a place at the table for you, when you’re ready.

Now if you can put the pain aside and act like a grown-up for at least a little while, and truly desire your rights, let’s talk.

First let’s be honest, we aren’t even close in the state of Missouri. It’s going to take a lot of work and more than likely a lot of time. A lot of people would tell you that open records are just around the corner, it just ain’t so, right here, right now. All you have to do is look at what happened to all the bills that were considered this session to see that.

That’s not to say that it can’t be done, it can. But getting everybody’s hopes up over something that was obviously going to amount to nothing does no one any good. Expect to get beat up. There are very powerful people who do not want us to have access and the truth be told, those that do support our cause have shown no inclination to go to war recently.

We need to give the people that can help us a reason to champion our cause. While our cause is a noble one, and almost anyone can be convinced of that fairly easily, someone else’s noble cause is rarely a reason to go to war. We need to give them a real reason to help us out.

One of the best reasons I can think of to help someone is that they have helped you out in the past.

The first step in The Brand New Plan is not-so-random acts of kindness. We are going to help out those that could help us out. First go here..

Missouri Leggie Look-up

Find your legislators. Many of them are up for re-election this fall. You can go here to see if they have filed..

Who’s in the running

If they have filed, call their office. You are going to be the best johnny-on-the-spot volunteer they have ever seen. You are going to make phone calls, knock on doors, fetch coffee, eat dirt, what ever, and talk to everyone you know about voting for your candidate. You will impress your candidate with your dedication and nobility. Study up, know all the issues, not just adoptee rights. Let them know that you aren’t one dimensional. That you are a citizen concerned with all aspects of life. They will hopefully see you as the real and noble person that you are.

When you come to them later you will be more than one of the many people who wants something, you will be someone that has helped them. This may help to incline them to help you. You are noble and dedicated after all.

This approach will be most effective in the House races. The House candidates always have less people working for them. State Rep races just don’t have the glamor of the national races, you will have less other people performing not-so-random acts of kindness to compete with.

We need to focus on the already friendly leggies first, of course.

Davis in District 42

Roorda in District 102

In the State senate races, the once and maybe future friendly Connie Johnson has filed for the seat in district 5.

I’ll be throwing myself at my incumbent state rep hoping to curry favor.

This is only the beginning. We need to present ourselves as adults, with some knowledge of how things work in order to be treated as adults.

We are starting all over here folks. This is the first step.

If You Really Hate Me…

here’s a chance to have a great time reading an in depth analysis of me.

Adopto-moron talks about Addie, Jesus, and lots of other things she has no idea about.

You’ll also be treated to some really great church music.

Here are some highlights…..

How do we know? And then what should we do about it? Does all of this matter in the “big picture” of life? I’m realizing that there is a lot of controversy surrounding this topic . . . . and there a many adult adoptees who did not have that “wonderful” experience that we all strive to accomplish when we, as parents, decide to build our family through adoption. I discovered this blog yesterday, and it broke my heart. And, having raised my own four biological children before adopting Gracie and Annie, I know that biology guarantees nothing. Some children, adopted and non-adopted, grow up feeling safe, secure, loved, and cherished . . . . . and others, oftentimes in the same family and experiencing exactly the same parenting style, grow up angry, disillusioned, and frustrated with the world.

Luckily my a-parents style was much different than yours, honey.

BTW, I’m not frustrated with the world, just your little ruffly corner of it. Did you even read my blog, or just the post about that Chapman dork?

I think that sometimes people who grow up as adoptees, assume that everything in their life that was or is negative, would be different if they just hadn’t been adopted by THESE parents, or that everything would be better in their life if they hadn’t been adopted at all.

Good that you’re thinking, but you’re wrong. I’m sure you’re used to that. Actually my life’s pretty positive. I never said my a-folks were bad parents. In fac, if you read as well as you “think” you’d know that.

Has anyone ever done the assume thing with you? You know when you assume you make an ass out of you and me? Ever heard that? Guess not.

Life is difficult, no matter the circumstance.

No shit, Sherlock.

I realize there are specific issues that revolve around adoption . . . . .

Yes, and the Earth revolves around the sun. Good thinking there genius.

I was adopted by my step-father at the age of five. And I met my biological father once, when I was 17, and when I could not do what he needed me to do for him, he sent me away and I’ve never heard from him since. I don’t even know if he is still living.

Are you projecting your bad adoption experience onto me? Sure looks like it.

And we need to have great compassion for those who have suffered heartache from their experiences of adoption.

I’m really try here with you. Next time you might let me know you’d linked to me, it makes me feel much more compassionate, since we’ve established you need that.

Perhaps they will talk with me, so that I can learn how recognize the kinds of issues that cause life-long frustration and resentment. I’m an optimist!

Good for you. The world loves an optimist. Now go optimize on somebody else.

Because many children who are adopted are there because the birth parents loved them so much, that they were willing to suffer the heart break of allowing their children to leave them for a better life.

There you go assuming again, ass out of you and me, remember?

You obviously have no idea what my story is, so shut the fuck up. You stupid know it all repressed little piece of brainlesness.

It’s a serious discussion, but one which me must enter into. Adoption is about a life, a very precious individual, and we must always remember that.

Yeah it is a serious discussion and you’re obviously not ready to have it. You might try preparing yourself before you attempt to engage in a discussion next time.

Great huh?

I hope my haters have enjoyed this little interlude. I sure know I have.

What We Have Learned From Carolyn Pooler

If you’re wondering who the heck Carolyn Pooler is, check these links out..

 The Missouri Compromise

and

Carolyn Pooler Come Out And Play

The short answer, not much.

The longer answer, quite a lot.  We’ve learned that reform isn’t always about what’s best for everyone, sometimes it’s about desperation and clinging to things that no longer work.

Nobody is really sure if we heard from Carolyn or not, though I’m pretty sure that we did.  Twice.  There’s a good lesson.  If you are not willing to take credit for your actions and defend them, you probably shouldn’t be working on anybody else’s behalf.  You have to believe in what you’ve done enough to put you name on it and claim it.  Hiding behind different screen names and posting from public computers, so you can’t be traced isn’t going to inspire a lot of confidence in what you have to say.  So from Carolyn we learned to be ready to explain your actions and claim them.  If you’ve managed to fuck up royally, admit it.

I suppose there is a an argument riding into town, hoopin’ and hollerin, killin’ all the women and rapin’ all the cattle.  Hell, I’ve done it myself.  But if you are going to do that, you need to case the place you are ridin’ into first.  Carolyn didn’t do that.  And because she didn’t do her research, all she managed to get done was fall in a pile of shit.  Hell my blog was right there.  If she had even read the previous post to The Missouri Compromise, she would have found that I’m staunchly anti-whining.  As to the other folks she managed to insult, she didn’t check up on them either.  There’s a lesson.  Do your research.  I don’t imagine she’s researched adoptee issues, or the current state of reform actions, any better than she researched me.

Lastly, and most importantly, we learned the price of alienating those that can help you in your cause.  I can tell you it will be Frozen Margarita Night In Hell before I’d piss on her if she were on fire.  I’m guessing there are a few others that feel the same, most of them in a better position to help her than I am.

Yes,The Carolyn Pooler Affair, as it will from now be known, because I say so.  Has been an excellent lesson to us all.  All the lame newbie internet insults, all the pathetic kicking and crying aside, Ms. Pooler has given us something to learn from.

There will be a test afterward.

Drawing The Line

A few days ago someone left a negative comment on my blog. I get a lot of negative comments, but I noticed this one because it was so filled with the kind of stuff that has almost become a joke among adoption bloggers. Take a look…

Blah, Blah, Blah…can’t you write anything original? You think you are so smart, but you are really totally stupid and SO ungrateful! You could of been aborted you know. I feel sorry for the suckers who took you in. You are such a bitch. Get help.

-Anonymous

See. Other than concisely fitting in all the big gripes that every civilian seems to have about adoptees who aren’t spreading sunshine, happiness, and gratitude, like a rancher spreads manure, it a fairly unimaginative comment. I honestly thought it was one of my friends fucking with me. I would think if someone was truly displeased, they would be a bit more creative.

It’s come to my attention that the comment might not have been made in jest. That the comment may have been made by an adoptee who has issues with her own adoption. The thing is, even if this is so, I can’t work up a whole lot of sympathy.

First of all, there’s just the total boringness of the comment. There’s no passion, no originality, hell it gets a 3 out of 10 on style points. I’m surprised that everything is spelled right. I just really don’t think think they are approaching their self-martyrdom with the proper dedication or creativity. Let’s face it, if this is the best they can come up with, what’s the point of even doing it?

My commenter needs to look to some who have been really good at irrationality and get a few pointers. First of all, if my commenter hasn’t already done it, they might want to think about embracing anarchy. This has worked well for nutjobs though out history. Just in the 20th century it’s been the main force behind everything from political assassinations, to music, to t-shirt moguls, to cult leaders. I think the philosophy would be a good fit for our commenter and something they could make their own.

Barring any real interest in Anarchy, try religion, many times it amounts to about the same thing. You might have to bow your head once in a while, a dress up a bit, but those who can embrace one can usually embrace the other with equal gusto, given the same level of mental incapacitation and neediness.

Malcontents also should invest in some education. There’s nothing more embarrassing than railing on and on about a point close to your soul only to find out that it’s based on bogus information. If you want to be a good moonbat, you need to at least be half right. Oh course, not speaking in absolutes helps with this. You’ll sound like you are a little closer to the truth if you employ phrases like. “In my opinion”, “Could it be that?”, and “Is it possible?”. Check out the average documentary about UFOs, or the exact location of Atlantis for great examples of this. The beauty here is you’re not stating fact, only giving the equally mentally challenged something to grab on to. Which leads me to my next point.

Don’t try to hang too much with sane folks. If you want to be a real crazy, too much sanity can wear you down. Just stick with the other whackadoodles. Sure they may too busy raving on their own to fully appreciate your ravings, but at least they’ll let you keep raving.

What I’m getting to here is that my commenter isn’t going to find any success with the sound of mind. Their only (slim) hope is with the irrational. The rational among us do draw a line when instead of attacking the source of pain, one attacks those who understand and acknowledge the pain. They simply will not one person’s insanity run riot over the innocent. No amount of pain justifies attacking ones who have been through the same experience. My commenter has become something worse than the thing that created them. Until such time that they may come to their senses, they should be banished to the planet Moonbat.

They do not belong among us.

Tama Janowitz, My Canidate for Mother of the Year

Can you believe this wonderful woman has been blocking comments from adoptees?

I can’t either. It must be a mistake, so I’m going to allow adoptees to comment here.

The Real Thing

My husband Tim and I adopted our daughter Willow, who is now 12, from China when she was 9 months old. We were told by the adoption agency that once the process was complete and the three of us were back home, many people would stop to inquire about our daughter’s Mongolian features or why she did not look like us.

It may be that having a child of a different ethnic background from yourself is more difficult in other parts of the country. And certainly that may lead to problems. But In my neighborhood in Brooklyn I see black women with half-Asian, half-black kids and I see kids with dark skin and blond hair — the mother is white, the father is not. There are Indian fathers and Caucasian mothers with their offspring. There are families with two dads. There are also Hasidic families with ten kids and Muslim women dressed in full burkas who have dressed their daughters the same way.

So here in New York City, we haven’t attracted too much attention.

Well, O.K., sometimes.

It is true when she was a baby, if I took her out on my own, sometimes people did ask me, “Is the father Chinese?” If I said “yes” the usual response was “Good for you!” This puzzled me, so then I just said, “Either Chinese, or some black dude – who can remember?”

But as always, if you don’t have one kind of problem, you will automatically be given another.

There are more than enough for seconds! Even fifths!

One thing I figure, whether adopted, mixed race, religious, non-religious, whether your child is biological, whether you send her to Hebrew school or piano lessons – there is no one who does not resent his or her parents, We all have this in common. Indeed, it may be what makes us human.

Everyone feels they are doing the best possible job as a parent. But apart from the most obvious types of abuse, there is little that is clear-cut in regard to child rearing. Some discipline their kids and refuse to allow them to go to school dressed in a tutu. Others allow them to eat McDonald’s. Even if your house is tidy, this could be a mistake in child-rearing! So could being a vegetarian! Or serving meat!

A girlfriend who is now on the waiting list for a child from Ethiopia says that the talk of her adoption group is a recently published book in which many Midwestern Asian adoptees now entering their 30s and 40s complain bitterly about being treated as if they did not come from a different cultural background. They feel that this treatment was an attempt to blot out their differences, and because of this, they resent their adoptive parents.

So in a way it is kind of nice to know as a parent of a child, biological or otherwise – whatever you do is going to be wrong. Like I say to Willow: “Well, you know, if you were still in China you would be working in a factory for 14 hours a day with only limited bathroom breaks!”

And she says — as has been said by children since time immemorial — “So what, I don’t care. I would rather do that than be here anyway.”

My friend has a biological kid who said one day, “I hate you.” She cried and cried and told the child how deeply hurt she was.

I have heard those words, too, and my child is not biological. Like, I care? Hate me or love me, I am her mother and she knows it and since she is not getting a reaction out of me she almost immediately revises her opinion.

Is it my fault she is still angry because I kept coming home with another dog? I would have been thrilled, if I was a kid, to have six poodles! How was I supposed to know she would turn out to be the type who didn’t like dogs? And she says even if she did like dogs, she only likes mixed breeds!

“You should keep a list of everything I’ve done to you,” I have often suggested, “That way, later, you can read it to your therapist. Otherwise you might forget.”

Sometimes I think, Well, maybe I should be more of a disciplinarian. But what am I going to do, lock her in her room? She has an ensuite bath, a computer, cell phone and a Game Boy and if I say, I will take those away she says, “So what, who cares?”

Same with TV privileges. “Go watch TV!” I tell her.

“No, I don’t want to.”

“You will watch TV, young lady.” It’s no use.

I know that there are some women who have given birth who believe that the type of love they have for their child is more intense, more real, than the love I have for my kid, because they hatched it themselves. This argument makes no sense to me. After all, the fathers (until recently) never could be sure that it was their sperm that made them the dad.

You might as well say, “Listen, Daddy-O, you had ten minutes max of involvement in the creation biz, and you didn’t even get to pre-approve the winning sperm, And if your kid is the product of the fastest sperm in the bunch, that is just plain pitiful. How could you care about the child?”

However I would no more say this than ask someone with a baby if they were certain the father was human.

I also know women who never really bonded with their kid – biological, or adopted.

I figure, Willow, she’s my kid, she just got here differently. I don’t remember floating around in my mother’s womb, or coming out of the vaginal canal – but I still know that person is my mother, even if she is a little off.

And my kid knows I’m her real mother.

Not biological, but real. It doesn’t get any realer than this.

http://relativechoices.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/11/12/the-real-thing/

Have at it folks.

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